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Kim Jong Un visits souvenir factory while avoiding flood-hit North Korea region

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visited the Mangyongdae Revolutionary Souvenir Factory, KCNA reported on Friday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visited the Mangyongdae Revolutionary Souvenir Factory, KCNA reported on Friday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un has yet to visit flood-hit areas of North Korea, but he did appear at a souvenir factory to provide field guidance, according to state media.

Pyongyang's official news agency KCNA reported Friday that Kim visited the Mangyongdae Revolutionary Souvenir Factory and told workers that "their work is important."

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"[Through] our strength and skills, and on the basis of [our] raw materials, another production base for consumer goods has been bestowed" on the people, Kim said, according to KCNA.

Kim also told workers factories must operate according to the needs of the "knowledge economy era," adding the North Korean people's demands are being met through production enabled by the "nationalization of raw materials."

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The factory may have been recently renovated.

Kim said in the North Korean report issued Friday, "Factories are being rebuilt, and more modern consumer goods plants for the people, with leading edge equipment and technical processes, must be constructed."

The Korean Workers' Party central committee vice chairman O Su Yong, and other senior officials in charge of industry and industrial organization accompanied Kim on the visit, according to South Korean news service News 1.

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Kim also took a souvenir photograph with workers at the site as he had previously done in visits with North Korea's missile scientists and military units after Pyongyang's fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9.

The North Korean leader has yet to visit the flood-hit area of the country, where a cholera epidemic was reportedly spreading in the absence of safe drinking water.

South Korea's unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee had said Kim might not be visiting because flood recovery had not been completed, according to News 1.

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Floods swept through North Hamgyong Province in late August and early September, forcing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes.

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